Hestercombe Gardens are open to the public, run by a charitable trust, this page has some views of them, arranged in the order we walked around, duplication is used to show how they vary with the seasons. Hestercombe House is an admin centre for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue and Somerset County Council and is not open to the public, however the garden trust is in the process of buying the house parts of which will be opened in due course.
The newest photos are included at the top full size, older ones have thumbnails to click which are in order of a walk around the gardens.
On 7 April the weather had warmed a bit but was still unseasonably cold and the sun disappeared while we were there but I got a few pics.
The daffodils were probably past their best but still looked good on the slope above Pear Pond
Above & below More daffs the other side of the pond.
Although it hasn't rained recently there's plenty of water running down through the ponds.
Above & below These beds in front of the house were full of colour.
Hestercombe House now belongs to the Gardens Trust.
Our walk on 15 January had some wintery scenes, the waterfall and weirs were reminding us of the amount of rain we've had recently - but the sun was shining!
The area in front of the mausoleum had most of the snow.
The Rustic Seat had a dusting of snow on its thatched roof.
The Giant Cascade was flowing fast and furious after all the recent rain.
There was plenty of water flowing out of Pear Pond as well.
A view across the Mill Pond with the water cascading in steps down from Pear Pond.
The Octagon Summerhouse viewed through the trees with Mill Pond in the left foreground.
Our miniature poodle Charlie and the resident swan eyeing each other up by the mill sluice gate.
These further down in their autumn glory, such a contrast!
A touch of winter colour in the formal garden in front of Hestercombe House.
Our two dogs hoping for a titbit as we had lunch in Hestercombe's restaurant - yes, persistence did pay off!
This next batch is of autumn colours seen on 11 November 2012 - a bright, sunny day which made the colours of many of the trees really glow.
From light through shade to light.
Looking down on Pear Pond and a tree that looks to be floodlit.
Another view down across Pear Pond.
This row was really catching the sun.
Looking across Pear Pond again at the variety of colours.
View along Pear Pond with Taunton hidden in a distant haze.
No maples in the gardens so this was the reddest tree we saw.
A variety of colours - and the resident swan.
Looking up through a tree with many leaves turned, others still green - a late autumn in the respect, probably because the trees hadn't been stressed by drought during our damp summer!
A mix of trees whose leaves had turned, some that hadn't and some that had all fallen.
One of the summer houses framed by the variegated colours of the nearby trees.
This tree is a magnificent sight every autumn.
The holly had plenty of berries to feed the birds during the winter.
From here down click on a photo to see it full size in a new browser window
The house was used by the Army during WWII, this hut survives as a reminder of that era in the house's history.
Turning round from taking the above was this view of the house with its distinctive tower.
Bluebells grace the hillside above the ponds.
Looking across Pear Pond with the Mausoleum opposite.
A swan reflecting in Pear Pond.
Two views of and over Pear Pond
Autumn colours are starting to dominate in this view across Pear Pond.
Daffodils in these March view of the valley slopes above Pear Pond.
A waterfall feeding Pear Pond.
Looking down on autumn colours from above the waterfall, the Rustic Seat is also visible.
The weir at the end of Box Pond.
A family of Moorhens on Box Pond.
A solitary duckling on Box Pond
A view up Box Pond.
There can be some beautiful reflections in Box Pond as these two show.
The autumn colours were starting to show in this view of Box Pond.
Fish - roach I think - in Box Pond at Hestercombe.
Near the bottom end of Box Pond is the Charcoal Burners Camp.
A view down the verdant valley from Box Pond
The path along Box Pond has been replaced by one higher up the valley side, this gives views such as this over the pond.
Water flowing out of Box Pond, most will go along a channel on the valley side to feed the waterfall.
Up out of the valley is the Gothic Alcove which has a marvellous view out across Taunton.
Panoramic view from the Gothic Alcove.
Another panoramic view from the highest part of the Landscape Garden
The Temple Arbour, the garden has plenty of places like this and the Gothic Alcove in which to shelter from sun or rain if needs be.
The Arbour has a beautiful view across the Pear Pond to Taunton and the Blackdown Hills.
The reverse view looking up to Temple Arbour from by the pond.
Another little shelter, the Witch House nestling in the trees.
A photo taken from Capriccio View through the trees including the Mausoleum, the Witch House and Temple Arbour.
Looking down from near the Arbour to Pear Pond.
This tree on the boundary of the garden has grown at quite and angle!
A superb display of tulips on the "upper level".
As tulips originate from Turkey this Turkish Tent had been erected as part of the display.
As part of the tulip theme (in May 2009) the excellent café was decorated with tulips. Nice lunches, nice coffee, nice cakes, nice surroundings...
There is a valley bottom route back from the top ponds, along the way the grass was covered with wild flowers.
A view down through the trees to the Mausoleum.
The valley above Pear Pond with snowdrops and a few daffodils hanging on into April.
An autumn view across Pear pond with the leaves just starting to turn.
A view across Pear Pond to the Pagoda.
A straw bale - used to control algae - makes a handy nest site for a Moorhen.
Three views of the Victorian Shrubbery.
The gardens abound with summerhouses, this one, the Octagon, has been completely rebuilt as the original had gone. It looks down over the bottom of Pear Pond.
A view looking up from the bottom of Pear Pond.
Looking across the Mill Pond towards the dam holding Pear Pond.
View across Mill Pond with the Octagon on the slope opposite, the dam at the bottom of Pear Pond - and the resident swan on Mill Pond.
Close up of the swan, which I think is a male from the size of the "berry" above his beak, he lost his mate some years ago and now leads a lonely life even building a nest in case a mate arrives.
Autumn colours by the first part of the formal gardens.
We now go from the Landscape Garden to the Formal Garden.
The Orangery which overlooks a large lawn.
Inside the Orangery
This fountain in the Formal Garden fascinated our dog!
An alcove on the edge of the terrace has a lovely view out over Taunton Deane towards the Blackdown Hills.
A view of the main part of the Formal Garden.
Three more of the formal gardens in August.
These steps out of the formal garden as well decorated with flowers.
Hestercombe House seen across the Formal Garden.
Another view across the garden with the house beyond.
Hestercombe House across another part of the garden.
Two views of flower beds in front of Hestercombe House.
The front of Hestercombe House with the carriage circle leading to the door.
These steps lead from the carriage circle up to the shrubbery and landscape gardens.
The view looking back from the exit over the formal garden with Taunton and the Blackdown Hills in the background.
To learn more about the gardens visit their site http://www.hestercombe.com
Visit our Travel Centre for train, ferry and tunnel bookings.
This site was last updated 07/04/2013